As I Laye A-Dreamynge. L'Envoi.

A poem by Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

After T. I.

As I laye a-dreamynge, a-dreamynge, a-dreamynge,
O softlye moaned the dove to her mate within the tree,
And meseemed unto my syghte
Came rydynge many a knyghte
All cased in armoure bryghte
Cap-a-pie,
As I laye a-dreamynge, a goodlye companye!

As I laye a-dreamynge, a-dreamynge, a-dreamynge,
O sadlye mourned the dove, callynge long and callynge lowe,
And meseemed of alle that hoste
Notte a face but was the ghoste
Of a friend that I hadde loste
Long agoe.
As I laye a-dreamynge, oh, bysson teare to flowe!

As I laye a-dreamynge, a-dreamynge, a-dreamynge,
O sadlye sobbed the dove as she seemed to despayre,
And laste upon the tracke
Came one I hayled as 'Jacke!'
But he turned mee his backe
With a stare:
As I laye a-dreamynge, he lefte mee callynge there.

Stille I laye a-dreamynge, a-dreamynge, a-dreamynge,
And gentler sobbed the dove as it eased her of her payne,
And meseemed a voyce yt cry'd--
'They shall ryde, and they shall ryde
'Tyll the truce of tyme and tyde
Come agayne!
Alle for Eldorado, yette never maye attayne!'

Stille I laye a-dreamynge, a-dreamynge, a-dreamynge,
And scarcelye moaned the dove, as her agonye was spente:
'Shalle to-morrowe see them nygher
To a golden walle or spyre?
You have better in yr fyre,
Bee contente.'
As I laye a-dreamynge, it seem'd smalle punyshment.

But I laye a-wakynge, and loe! the dawne was breakynge
And rarely pyped a larke for the promyse of the daye:
'Uppe and sette yr lance in reste!
Uppe and followe on the queste!
Leave the issue to be guessed
At the endynge of the waye'--

As I laye a-wakynge, 'twas soe she seemed to say--
'Whatte and if it alle be feynynge?
There be better thynges than gaynynge,
Rycher pryzes than attaynynge.'--
And 'twas truthe she seemed to saye.
Whyles the dawne was breakynge, I rode upon my waye.

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